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Very Early

Messy House Productions MHO 103



  1. Galileo

  2. Surrey With The Fringe On Top

  3. The Cold Wind's Embrace

  4. Getting To Know You

  5. Goodbye New York

  6. Until

  7. Lemon Twist

  8. Very Early

  9. What's With You

  10. Jardin D'Hiver

  11. Lucky To Be Me

  12. When The World Was New

    Audrey Silver - Vocals

    Bruce Barth - Piano (tracks 1-7, 9-12)

    Paul Beaudry - Bass

    Lewis Nash - Drums (tracks 1-7, 9-12)

    Alex Pope Norris - Trumpet (tracks 2, 3, 6, 10)

    Gary Versace - Accordion (tracks 6, 12)

    Ron Affif - Guitar (track 9)

    Tom Beckham - Vibes (tracks 7, 8, 12)

    The New York City based jazz vocalist, Audrey Silver, is a new name to me. This is her third album and I can only say that I wish I'd come across this gifted chanteuse earlier. She shows impeccable taste in her choice of material which is a beguiling mixture of show tunes, jazz standards from the pens of Bobby Troup, Bill Evans and Mose Allison, and an eclectic batch of original pieces. Her supporting cast is impressive, too. Musicians such as pianist Bruce Barth, who has fourteen albums under his own name, and drummer Lewis Nash, for instance, are vastly experienced and would enhance any recording. Equally significant are the creative arrangements of Steven Santoro, jazz singer and a professor at the Berklee School of Music.

    Goodbye New York is one of several standout tracks. The lyrics are actually a poem by Deborah Garrison, an erstwhile classmate from Silver's college days, who is now a poet, writer and editor. They provide the text for a hymn to one of the world's great cities, warts and all. Silver has collaborated with Dominique Gagné to provide the tune and the relish and flair she brings to singing it is notable. The increasingly popular French song Jardin D'Hiver seems to have been around a long time but was actually only written in the year 2000. It's a fine tune, stylishly rendered in excellent French by Silver. I liked the trumpet solo by Alex Norris and the bass input from Paul Beaudry on this one. Bobby Troup's Lemon Twist is a long time favourite of mine and Audrey Silver does justice to the wry, witty lyrics. Tom Beckham's accomplished vibes interact with Silver's scat singing to provide a satisfying listening experience. Beckham impresses, too, as does Beaudry on the Bill Evans ballad, Very Early, supplied with lyrics by Carol Hall. What's With You, a Mose Allison classic, is indisputably a jazz vehicle. Guitarist Ron Affif, who guests on this track is downright

    funky and Silver scats to telling effect, neither mannered nor self-conscious. One of the musicians is heard to remark at the very end 'Nobody wanted to stop'. The listener will share that feeling.

    The show tunes, Surrey With The Fringe On Top and Getting To Know You, benefit from interesting arrangements. Alex Norris on trumpet, Lewis Nash's nimble drumming and the bass solo of Beaudry complement the warm and relaxed vocal rendition by Silver of Surrey. I've always thought Getting To Know You was rather twee but Audrey Silver succeeds in taking the cheesiness out of the lyrics whilst adding, of all things, a touch of menace. The rhythm section as a whole deserve commendation for their contribution here and Norris, as ever, is good value. Lucky To Be Me from the musicalOn The Town receives a lively treatment. Sting's Until goes with a swing and features another confident vocal performance. Gary Versace on accordion, an instrument guaranteed to evoke a nostalgic atmosphere, guests, as he does also on the bittersweet ballad When The World Was New.

    Audrey Silver has a voice to savour and a gift for unforced scat. She has chosen a mixture of the familiar and the unusual, in terms of material for this album, and her accompanying musicians are uniformly excellent. I mean it as a sincere compliment when I say that this is easy listening of a high order. This is, I believe, only her third disc. I hope we hear from her again very soon.

    James Poore

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